Professor Moses Hadas, one of the preeminent classicists of the mid 20th century, prepared this book. It is prepared, rather than written by Professor Hadas, because for the most part it is a compilation of excerpts from classic Latin sources, such as Tactitus and Suetonius, with short bridging paragraphs by professor Hadas. This approach has the benefit of providing the English translation of the source, rather than a historian's interpretation of the source. However, the tradeoff is a lack of a more cohesive approach to Roman history. Other histories generally have a constant coordinating theme upon which to hang the narrative. This book uses the original sources to tell the story, but since the book is less than 300 pages long Professor Hadas has had to be very selective, and this makes the narrative somewhat choppy: very detailed in some places, unduly sparse in others.
By analogy, it is as if one were crossing a stream, either by a series of stepping-stones or by a bridge. If the stepping-stones were intricately carved, perhaps with gold, silver and diamond inserts, this path would be the more interesting of the two. The bridge would likely be the quicker route. If you want a straightforward more coherent history of Rome, there are better books, but this may be the book for you if you want to savor the flavor of the Latin histories upon which the histories of Rome are based.